Blog Parties, Writing Conferences & NaNoWriMo…

I am behind on pretty much everything at the moment, though with
any luck, I’ll be more or less caught up by midnight. Why, you ask? Two
things, really.

The first is that a
couple of weeks ago, I decided to host a multi-author blog party at my
horror/suspense writer alter-ego’s blog for the month of October. Being
both impulsive and a planner, I’ve been organizing that event for awhile
now, and this weekend it was “go time” to get everything finalized and
the first week’s posts and memes scheduled out. That means formatting
and scheduling other people’s posts, as well as writing and scheduling
my own, plus graphics and all that entails. Plus, that blog needs an
update. Actually, all of my sites need updates, but we’ll just ignore
that for now, shall we?

In any
case, I spent the majority of yesterday working on that – and when I say
majority, I mean I barely got the laundry done, and I didn’t get to bed
until after 1am. Which is why I’m writing this post on my lunch hour

Normally the two day
weekend would have been enough to finish everything with time to spare.
But there was a local Montana Romance Writer’s conference in town this
weekend, and I bought a day pass for Saturday to see what it was all
about. I’ve been to conferences before, but never a writing conference. I
have to say, I wasn’t blown away by either the organization (it was
difficult even figuring out how to sign-in) or the workshops, though all
the presenters were very good and very professional. I was
just…bored. And I suck at socializing with women, and this was *all*
women…and even though I went in with the attitude to be open and
introduce myself and meet people…well, I failed.

did get to meet a twitter friend and that was a lot of fun…so I did
really enjoy that aspect of the day. And I met a couple of other authors
who were nice & friendly as well. But on the whole, it took up most
of my Saturday and a good chunk of change I could’ve used for other
things…so kind of a bust, really. I’d probably have been happier
spending a few bucks for an overpriced chai tea and a one-on-one chat
with my twitter friend instead.  I know a lot of authors enjoy
conferences, and I might enjoy one with more variety of workshops to
choose from and a better gender balance/more people, but it’s unlikely
I’ll ever make it to one of those, since it involves travel and money
and dog-sitters. Never say never, I suppose…

any case, I basically only had one day of the weekend to work on book
business type stuff, and this particular weekend, it just wasn’t enough.
Such is life.

got the blog party ready to kick off – if you like scary stories and you
want to meet some great authors, pop over to Alex’s blog when you have
time this month. Comment on any post over there throughout the month to
be eligible for the three drawings taking place. It’ll be fun!

In other news, I’ve been waffling over whether or not to do National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)
in November. Last year I was going to, and had to bow out – there was
just too much other stuff going on. I always *want* to do it – not only
is it addictive, but it’s really a lot of fun, and it’s how I finished
my first novel (and a few more after that too). Even the book I started
with last year got finished and published eventually (Sleep With Me).

I love it – I love the challenge and the energy of writing with that many other writers all at once…


have several drafts that must, must, must, be completed by December
1st. You know the holiday series I basically hung my writing plans for
the year with on a whim last January? Yeah. Those three, for starters. I
have another short erotic romance to write to finish a series by
December, and one to edit/format and create cover art for. And then
there’s Jasmine Betrayal, which I’d also really, really like to finish
in time for Christmas.  I just can’t in good conscience commit an entire
month to working on one book when all those are hanging over my head
(well, we all know I won’t focus on just one book anyways, but trying to
minimize the distractions here).

So in order to say “yes” to NaNo, I need to:

– Finish all the holiday series drafts
– Finish the JB draft
– Be close to finishing the last erotic rom. short
– Have LC edited, formatted and ready to publish

makes for what my hubby is calling a “pre-NaNo NaNo”. Suddenly, I’m
having Mork & Mindy flashbacks (and if you don’t know who that is,
Google it, don’t ask me, because it’ll just make me feel old, and I’m

So we’ll see. It’s going to
be a very busy October trying to finish all those up and run the blog
party too, as well as a bunch of projects going on for the day job to
keep my mind hoppin’. I’m game to try though…because doing that would
put me ahead in December, and also give me another book ready to release
in January. Can’t beat that, really.

on this week’s list? I see you cringing out there. It’s not *that*
bad…really. As long as you only look at one item at a time, anyways:

– Monthly BSB Newsletter (must do that tonight, so it goes out first thing tomorrow!)
– Remember to get the load of clothes in the dryer out tonight
– Update Alex’s  site (tonight!)
– Make sure all blog posts & quote memes for Alex’s blog party get scheduled and shared far & wide
– Another scene for Jasmine Betrayal
– Start the last draft in the Cream du Jour series for Trinity’s blog
– Get as far as possible with the holiday drafts
– Schedule next week’s blog party posts

Come up with interview questions for audiobook narrators (Got any? Let
me know!)- Proof a copy of a print book I screwed up the formatting on,
re-order clean copies
– Format print copies for two more horror shorts
– Go through the edits to LC before I completely lose track of the story in my head
– Write a Halloween flash story and a non-fic blog post for Alex’s blog
– Vacuum, and clean the aquarium (since I didn’t have time to do either of those last weekend)
– Finish one day job project, catch up on some little things, and start fixing a project I had to drop for awhile
– Don’t forget Office Hours this Friday. Again. (dang it!)

then. Feel better about your own week yet, or does mine look easy in
comparison to what you’re facing? Either way, don’t despair! We’ll make
it through…the other option sucks.  

Now, back to work. I hope your week is off to a good/productive start…

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One comment on “Blog Parties, Writing Conferences & NaNoWriMo…

  1. Ardee Eichelmann

    Jamie, you know that your “to do” lists always wear me out. I don’t know where you get the energy but I do remember when I ran on caffeine and adrenaline too so I have a clue about where the energy does come from but golly gee whiz!

    As I read every thing you would have to do to get ready for NaNoWriMo I really almost needed an immediate nap. I am battling about NaNoing it this year and think that I will but I don’t have near the challenges to get ready that you have and I am grateful. I don’t think I’d make it to the starting line much less the finish line.

    I think you are awesome and can’t wait to see what all you come up with between now and then. I am also wanting to see what is up on Alex’s blog. I think it will be interesting.